At intimate salon, boutique, and spa Mia Sorella, which means "my sister" in Italian, owners and twin sisters Mary Sirois and Molly Kiefer strive to make customers feel beautiful, whether it be through a haircut and fresh highlights, a new wardrobe, a massage, or full bridal hair and makeup. The boutique staff works to keep customers well dressed with a selection of stylish jackets, dresses, and culottes by designers such as Darling, Tulle, and Level 99. The spa staff pampers complexions and nails, and a licensed massage therapist brings chiropractic know-how, spa experience, and a Swedish dictionary to each relaxing kneading.
Laura B Salon’s owner, Melissa Pounds—who shared a bevy of beauty advice in the January 2011 issue of Quintessential Barrington—helms a crew of trained stylists armed with products from brands such as Wella, INOA, and Moroccanoil. Beauty-seekers can rejuvenate during custom services ranging from VersaSpa sunless tanning and full-body waxing to ammonia-free hair-coloring treatments. Under the bright light that trickles down from silver chandeliers, hairstylists trim tendrils into flattering ’dos as patrons relax in white leather chairs, periodically checking an oval, silver-framed mirror for any evidence that their face might be secretly concealing an outlawed expression.
The independent stylists at Main Place Salon usher clients into a sun-filled studio where leafy houseplants are flanked by inset lighting above and sleek hardwood floors below. Within these relaxing confines, heads bask in the attentive services of industry veterans, who harness their decades of experience to bestow cuts, color, and style designs to match the latest trends or the neighbor's couture shrubbery. Each of the staff members enjoys the salon's liberating perks—such as setting their own schedules and vacation time—which allows them to fully enjoy their work and in turn happily create new looks for their clients.
At Bloom Beauty Studio, resident aesthetician, Iwona, transforms lackluster visages into healthy, glowing complexions with customized facials, massages, and waxing services. Iwona’s specialized waxing techniques help to quickly banish body hairs while also decreasing the chances that they’ll become ingrown upon their return. Similarly, her Never Been Kissed facial provides a fitting foundation for the more intense Starlight deep-cleansing facial, which incorporates an exfoliating lactic or glycolic acid peel—treatments that aim to leave the skin glowing brighter than a Las Vegas sunrise.
The staff at Spa Soma treats clients with a varied menu of aesthetic, weight-loss, and medical beauty services. They work to pair a gentle, warm environment with high-quality medical treatments, such as laser hair removal. They also offer seven different types of massage, dispelling the notion that beauty procedures backed by scientific research must be performed in a cold, sterile environment devoid of human life. These effective treatments include chemical peels, microdermabrasion, injectables, and dermal fillers, which reduce telltale signs of age, such as wrinkles or tattoos written in Sanskrit.
A full-service salon complements the center's aesthetic medical services. Here, staff members perform customized haircuts and clip nails during express and spa mani-pedis.
Named a Reader's Choice salon by the Daily Herald in 2012, the Nelson Group Salon staffs skilled stylists who groom clients' locks, skin, and nails using products by Aveda, Bumble and bumble, and Schwarzkopf. Many of the salon's stylists boast more than a decade of experience and professional training from such coiffure heavyweights as Vidal Sassoon and Aveda, which they apply to their services as they snip and color locks in modern styles.
Built in 1890, the salon's charming interior once housed a hospital, which was then subsequently repurposed into a bakery and next into a zombie factory, before finally transforming into its present state more than 20 years ago. Salon owner Nelson, a stylist for more than 23 years, still prefers "old-school German shears" to style ever-evolving haircuts. He emphasizes keeping up with trends and mastering new techniques, saying, "it's not just a job, but a craft."